Carolina Panthers: Finally over .500

Well they did it. The Panthers have finally eclipsed the .500 mark. It has been 70 long games since we have been at this point. We did it in convincing fashion too. Yes the Bucs are now 0-7 but the rivalry between these two teams is intense. The Bucs kept it close for a little while, but the Panthers eventually took control of the game.

Oct 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates after he scored a touchdown during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cam and the offense looked good. I must say Cam is playing the best football of his short professional career. The offense has now put up 30 points in 3 consecutive games and it is the first time that has happened ever in the history of the Panthers organization. It really seems like the coaching is finally showing in Cam’s game. He is making much better decisions and he is going through his progressions. He still could use some refinement with his footwork, but the improvement is clear.

The offensive line is still that, offensive. We really need to use our first round pick on a quality starting offensive lineman in the upcoming draft. We did not run the ball as well as I would have liked but a lot of credit has to go to the Bucs defense, they are tough. Cam is such a threat when he can take off from the pocket; he puts so much pressure on the defense when he does that. Really puts them in a bind. I hope the coaches continue to encourage him to take off when he is pressured or there is no receiver open. We are a much better team with Cam being a threat to take off from the pocket.

Man is our defense good. Truth be told they did not dominate today, but they played well. The defense kept the Bucs out of the endzone long enough to allow the offense time to build a large enough lead so the Bucs had to abandon the run. Once Tampa went one dimensional, it was over. Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon had to throw the ball 51 times tonight. That is way too many.

The running game did not help Glennon in any way after halftime. Charles Johnson led the defense with two sacks, and Greg Hardy chipped in with one. But the Tampa offensive line did a pretty good job of keeping Glennon upright for most of the game. The defense is currently ranked 2nd in the league in points allowed averaging just 13 points allowed per contest. After this weekend’s round of games, we will see where Carolina ends up but I see them eyeing that number one spot.

We had an undrafted free agent start for us at cornerback tonight. Rookie Melvin White played in place of Josh Thomas, who was beaten badly last week versus the Rams. Judging by the Tampa Bay receivers’ stat lines, I would say White had a good game. He contributed 5 tackles as well. This defense is good, bordering on elite even, but what the scariest part of this defense is, barring any injury, is that they are going to get better.

Player of the game would definitely go to “Ace Boogie”, Cam Newton. It is so nice to see him progressing. Remember just a few short weeks ago, some people were calling for Cam to be benched in favor of Derek Anderson. They sure feels foolish now.

Follow me on Twitter @JoeRiollano


Topics: Carolina Panthers, NFC South, NFL

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